Quesito 002 – 1/1/15 – UE – Con riferimento all’art. 2 comma 2 lettera e) D.Lgs. 105/15 [Art. 2(2)(e) Dir. 2012/18/UE] relativo all’esclusione dello sfruttamento, vale a dire l’esplorazione, l’estrazione e la preparazione di minerali in miniere e cave, anche mediante trivellazione, l’esclusione si applica se le sostanze pericolose sono usate nell’ambito delle operazioni di perforazione o l’uso di un certo quantitativo di “sostanze pericolose utilizzate nelle operazioni di trattamento chimico e stoccaggio” farebbe cessare l’esclusione?
Question: Would the exemption apply if dangerous substances are used in the framework of the drilling operations or would such use amount to “chemical processing operations and storage related to those operations which involve dangerous substances”, to which the exemption does not apply?
Answer: A chemical process is a method intended to change the composition of chemical(s) or material(s). Thus the drilling activity itself, even where use is made of chemicals, such as methanol and propane, cannot be considered a “chemical processing activity”, as far as its aim is not to alter the composition of the materials to be extracted. The act of extraction would therefore normally be exempted from Seveso even where chemical substances are used.
Chemical processes are normally understood in relation to mining as being activities aimed at separating the valuable minerals or metals from the waste material which surrounds them. This takes place after extraction. Where these processing operations involve dangerous substances they are covered under Seveso and the storage of dangerous substances related to these processing operations should is also be covered.
However, Where, prior to the drilling, chemical processing activities take place which are aimed at somehow changing one or more chemicals or chemical compounds (in view of their use in drilling operations for instance), such operations, and the related storage of chemical substances also falls under Seveso.